"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Winnie Castelo’s Legislative Idiocy The Anti-Planking Act of 2011

Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo of 2nd district in Quezon City wants to stop planking among students with his bill called Anti-Planking Act of 2011. His concern or his beef which is more likely is not about the youtube craze per se but to stop student activists from using planking as a form of redress of grievance.

In Castelo’s praise errr press release there is a conscious attempt to picture his proposed bill as well-intent and a family man who is concerned with the welfare of his children and the country. I was almost impressed with this quote from him in his own praise release below:
Lest this picture read in newspapers or posted in the internet might evolve into a new mindset that just might go viral or very contagious, let it be nipped in the bud. The Filipino psyche of our young children in school is under attack – right here and now.

Really now Winnie, I saw the video of the street protest regarding the oil price hike and it was not strictly planking as some were lying down on their backs. Hmmmmn, was that a Mayweather like cheap shot to gain self-importance for the sake of grabbing attention aimed at who else but yourself?

Merit Salud in his FaceBook sharing aptly sums it up with the following statement:

Some people think that Castelo’s “brilliant” bill might make us the laughing stock of the world once this gets out on the World Wide Web. Politics and showbiz in the Philippines are like dung to a fly so it really does not matter if the news is good or bad, flattering or unflattering as long as they land on the print and broadcast media.

Planking is a fad and a thing of the past says Volt Santos in Castelo’s page and suggested that he create instead an Anti-Batmanning Act.

Not a bad idea indeed if Weanie errr Winnie wants to be on top of the tweeting trend since he did well in his anti-planking act. I say brilliant, no not the bill he wants to shove the students throat but the internet trending that comes with his notoriety, LOL.

If his intent was to attract attention to himself, then he is on the right tract but along with it comes unflattering remarks and observations. Case in point is the confusion he brings to Connie Veneracion who can’t tell if Winnie is a girl or a boy because of Winnie’s bad hair day picture. Looking at his picture I just can’t help notice that he somehow resembles Sen. Jamby Madrigal, can’t blame Connie for getting confused there.

To his credit the bill he says has no intention of criminalizing planking since there is no penalty but then again if that is the case what is the point of the bill, a free ride to the popularity of planking fad? What is obvious is that Winnie Castelo is a closeted fascist thus his fixation to curtail the youths freedom of expression and redress of grievances by introducing a bill against of all things a planking fad. His Facebook page sadly shows his true colors if he is the one managing it or his people because as I posted twice my comments it was both deleted and others are starting to complain about their comments getiing deleted. Winnie is definitely the reason why political dynasty is a big problem in our political system and needs to be addressed or we are reduced to jokers wasting people's resources on silly bills that serves no good purpose for the community he represents.

The wonders of the internet is its instant response to the anomalous bill of Winnie Castelo with a JUNK Anti-Planking Act of 2011 NOW created by Kevin Chua, so if you are on Facebook go and like the page.

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Strange movements at the Comelec - Rafanan the man?

Rafanan, the ex-future people's Champion in the Comelec

I would have easily gone to the defense of Ferdie Rafanan anytime.

Actually Ellen Tordesilla's allusion to Aquino's "daang matuwid" was unfortunate, in the sense that Comelec being a constitutional body is never supposed to be at the beck and call of the President or anyone in the executive branch.

But outside of that distraction, I have known Ferdi since he was introduced to me by another brilliant UP lawyer, Marilen Ramiro, at the latter's birthday party in Pasay City many years ago.

I have followed his career and easily I would proclaim that he is perhaps the only person in the Comelec who is not corrupt, a great tribute to government career integrity and one who walks the "daang matuwid".

In fact, Ferdie has always lived with the pittance that he receives from Comelec as salary and benefits. Everybody in that office and all outside handlers know that to offer him a bribe would have fatal consequences.

In that party where only straight people were invited, he told everyone around the table "Hindi ko kayang pakanin ang mga anak ko ng perang galing sa pagnanakaw!"

This is why he was always given the runaround at that government office because his being in the legal department, the engine of corruption at the Comelec, has been an oddity or somewhat a contradiction in terms. So the leadership always kept him away from the front dealings, and he has always been made to chase after-the-fact situations, that today, he has again been given a backdoor job - investigating the 2004 and 2007 elections.

He was always made busy but away from any position of any consequential power.

Does that in anyway diminish the objectivity of his superior the incumbent Chairman Brilliantes in downgrading his position? Not necessarily.

Corruption is not just not accepting bribes or compromising integrity for money. I would like to repeat, in this sense I know on a firsthand basis, Ferdie is not corrupt.

Serving as head of the legal department and the ace of former Comelec Chairman Melo has hurt him and his career. He succumbed to the corruption of "power" by acting as the proverbial three monkeys - "see no evil, hear no evil and talk no evil."

My reason is simple. Why did he not uphold the truth in the 2010 presidential and local election?

As a topnotch lawyer, he knew that Comelec waived most of the essential safeguards of the Automated Election Law and the E-Commerce Act in order to accommodate Smartmatic, an American company with Venezuelan flavor.

Instead Rafanan became the staunch defender of Chairman Melo and the chief apologist of the erring and abusive Comelec

First, what good was any 2010 ballot when Comelec allowed Smartmatic to disable the UV-ray reader that was supposed to authenticate every sheet of paper fed to the PCOS machine as being a genuine ballot or not? What would determine also whether a particular ballot were proper inventory assigned to its specific PCOS machine?

Ferdie justified that the ink used by the Bureau of Printing could not be read by the PCOS machine. Smartmatic argued that the ink used by the bureau was not according to oits specifications. (I suspect walang kita ang bureau wiseguys doon sa Smartmatic ink.) So the Comelec disabled the internal UV-ray reader of the PCOS machine and ended up spending more than P30 million more to buy hand-held UV-ray readers to validate codes printed with the ink used by the bureau.

But then again, not one of these handheld UV-ray readers was also used by the election precincts on election day. Its use by the school teachers was wittingly or unwittingly not ordered by Comelec. (I would suspect "deliberately overlooked").

I personally made random visits of more than sixty precincts in Metro Manila and as far north as Bulacan and south as Laguna. The common answer of the school teachers were 1) Hindi ho kami tinuruang gamiting ang instumento na yan. (We are not taught how to use the handheld instrument.) 2) Wala hong order na gamiting yan. (There was no order to use it.)
3) Ano ho yung handheld UV ray reader na sinasabi ninyo? (Sir, what handheld UV-ray reader are you talking about?)

The Philippine Computer Society and a separate OFW election-watch group organized by Vic Barrios also observed that the precincts were not using the handheld UV-ray readers. In other words, the PCOS machines could have been fed xeroxed ballots and it would have still read them.

Second, the Comelec again by written instruction, ordered the disabling of the digital signatures for the transmission of elections results. In fact, when asked by the PCOS machine if the deputized election officials from precinct to municipal to provincial levels wanted to supersede filtering its entries by not entering their digital signatures, the Comelec instruction was to press the "yes" response button.

Not only by law, and especially in Philippine government transactions, what do you call anything on paper that does not bear any signature, digital or actual? Even the ATM machine will not transact with anyone who does not give his Personal Identification Number or PIN that serves as one's digital signature.

Huwag nang sa batas, by sheer common sense na lang, dear reader, would you consider such as an official document? But mind you anything that is duly authenticated with a signature even if written on a toilet paper, has probity and can be accepted in a court of law.

In advanced countries like the United States, fax transactions are authenticated by the marks of the sending machine. Emails are also official because it can be traced to your IP address.

Wikipaedia defines Internet Protocol (IP) address as"a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: 'A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there.' "

Well, the Comelec honored precinct counts from ballots not authenticated by UV-ray readers and accepted transmission of election returns without digital signatures. In fact they proclaimed all officials from senator down to congressmen, governors, vice-governors, provincial board members, mayors, vice mayors and municipal councilors on the basis of these two glaring and substantial anomalies, not to mention about a dozen other systemic and a hundred other actual violations by comelec not just of the 2010 Automated Election Law, but also of the E-Commerce Act of the Philippines.

Don't take my word for this, google the findings of the Philippine Computer Society and the UP Center for People-Empowered Governance (CENPEG). You can start with these two lead from Rene Azurin of BusinessWorld.

On the same basis, Comelec also facilitated the national board of canvassing's final tally and proclamation of Noynoy Aquino as president and Jojo Binay as vice president.

A whole nation cheered in the fastest Comelec count ever in our history. But sans authenticated ballots and transmissions without digital signatures, what was really counted?

All those tallies could have been processed from a single laptop with Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno infront of it with his fingers in its keyboards.

How was this most probable? Official election results were already being broadcast way ahead of the closing of the precincts nationwide!

How was this made possible? By Comelec's default of its solo and sacred mandate of being the only government agency authorized to conduct elections and count the results. Look at the Philippine Constitution.

In short and in the crisp words of UP Dean Melvin Magallona, Comelec outsourced the 2010 elections to Smartmatic, a foreign corporation.

The irony of it of course is that Ferdie cannot investigate the 2010 election violations. He was a major player in it.

(By the way in his "Hail to the Chief" privileged speech before the joint Senate and Congress acting as national canvassers, Senator Nene Pimentel exposed all these nefarious acts. Not a single premise of his eloquent demolition of the 2010 election was not true and valid. But nampuga, look at the title of his discourse, he nevertheless voted to proclaim Aquino and Binay. What a democrazy!)

But what can he do to extricate himself from this historical faux pas that has led us to a constitutional crisis that the establishment is in denial of and restore his once un-sullied reputation?

First, do a good and quick job at investigating the 2004 and 2007 elections! Afterall a lot are already common knowledge.

Second, blow the whistle on the 2010 election!

Otherwise, the present Chairman, Brilliantes, who was the election lawyer of the those who found themselves in the opposition after the 2010 proclamations, will never take him seriously. Sorry na lang, as Erap would say "weather-weather lang yan!"

If he extricates himself of being a "co-conspirator", he would always serve as my nominee to succeed Brilliantes as Comelec chairman. I am not kidding, until this stain caused by his loyalty to former Chairman Melo and not the Filipino people and the cause of truth, Ferdie is clean.

But if he ducks this patriotic opportunity, he will never be anybody in the Comelec or anywhere in government, he might as well retire his post and go to private practice. I am sure many think tanks worldwide will have space for his expertise.

Rafanan, you the man!

Washington DC

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